One Big Happy Family: 18 Writers Talk About Open Adoption, Mixed Marriage, Polyamory, Househusbandry,Single Motherhood, and Other Realities of Truly Modern Love [NOOK Book]

Overview

More important and timely ...
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One Big Happy Family: 18 Writers Talk About Open Adoption, Mixed Marriage, Polyamory, Househusbandry,Single Motherhood, and Other Realities of Truly Modern Love

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Overview

More important and timely than ever-a collection of illuminating essays on the shifting definition of the modern American family.

Edited by bestselling writer Rebecca Walker, this fascinating exploration of today's American family features essays by prominent voices such as Z.Z. Packer, Dan Savage, Min Jin Lee, Asha Bandele, Neal Pollack, and others, on subjects such as:


• Open marriage
• Gay Marriage
• Green-card marriage
• Interclass Marriage
• Prison marriage
• Househusbands
• Open adoption
• Transracial adoption
• Sperm donation
• Single motherhood
• Polyamory
• Living with in-laws
• Parenting a disabled child
• Bisexual marriage
• Divorce Blended Families
• Bicultural families
• Relationships with child-care providers
• Multiracial families
• Home schooling
• Equal parenting
• Expatriate families

An unabashed celebration of love in all its diversity and complexity, One Big Happy Family is destined to become a definitive text on the modern American family.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

These plainspoken, cage-rattling essays, collected by Walker (What Makes a Man), address how dramatically the traditional nuclear American family has changed. Jenny Block's "And Then We Were Poly" sets the decidedly unconventional tone by insisting that her and her husband's embrace of other sexual partners allows them a more joyful, fulfilling commitment to each other. A gay couple adopts the child of a self-destructive street girl in Dan Savage's "DJ's Homeless Mommy," then tries to keep the mother in touch with her son. In "Sharing Madison," Dawn Friedman, another parent of an adoptee, writes of her agonizing process of overcoming the guilt she feels in having taken baby Madison away from her teenage mother. Antonio Caya, in "Daddy Donoring," recounts his rational decision to sire his friend's child, firmly remaining a donor, not a daddy, so as not to "muddle the issue." Children of mixed race force a much-needed altering of people's perceptions, as ZZ Packer explores in "The Look," while Susan McKinney de Ortega's choice to marry a much younger Mexican man and make a home in Mexico challenges the American notion of middle-class values. These fresh, diverse views represent an authentic, valuable new reality. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
A moving, wildly diverse collection showing how radically different familial configurations can work. Prompted by her experiences growing up in a family "fragmented and haunted by unfulfilled longings," Walker (Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of Ambivalence, 2007, etc.) looks beyond her well-publicized estrangement from her mother, novelist Alice Walker, to the lives of other writers "searching for authenticity through experimentation" in their domestic situations. The essays she assembles smash class, race and gender stereotypes to collectively demonstrate the fluidity of the contemporary family unit. Resisting the traditional boundaries of coupledom, Jenny Block, on the one hand, celebrates the openness of what she calls a "polyamorous marriage" with her husband and her girlfriend. On the other hand, Judith Levine and her boyfriend, together for 17 years, never married for a number of practical and philosophic reasons. Writes Levine: "A marriage may or may not be a union of love. It is always a union of property...I'd like the state to get out of the sexual-licensing business altogether, actually, for couples gay, straight, bi, or none of the above." Essays by Dan Savage and Dawn Friedman lay bare the highs and lows of open adoption. Savage details the difficulty he and his partner have in deciding what to say to their adoptive son when his homeless, substance-abusing biological mother drops out of touch for more than a year: "Which two-by-four to hit him with? That his mother was in all likelihood dead? Or that she was out there somewhere but didn't care enough to come by or call?" Friedman, while admitting to occasional twinges of jealousy and guilt evoked by havingher daughter's birth mother integrated into their lives, trumpets openness for her daughter's sake: "She will never have to wonder why her first mother chose adoption; she can ask her." Rebecca Barry closes the anthology with a frank, humorous exploration of how she and her sister ended up in couples therapy. Eye-opening and sometimes shocking, as it brilliantly explodes traditional notions about the nuclear family.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101011430
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/19/2009
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 868,861
  • File size: 291 KB

Meet the Author

Rebecca Walker has received numerous awards and accolades for her writing and activism. Her work has appeared in many anthologies and publications; in addition to the international bestseller Black, White, and Jewish, her books include Baby Love: Choosing Motherhood After a Lifetime of Ambivalence, and the anthologies To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism, which has become a standard text in gender studies courses around the world, and What Makes a Man: 22 Writers Imagine the Future. A popular speaker at universities and in business settings, Walker teaches the art of memoir at workshops and writing conferences internationally. She lives in Hawaii.

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Table of Contents

1 And Then We Were Poly Jenny Block Block, Jenny 1

2 Woman Up asha bandele bandele, asha 17

3 The Enemy Within Dan Savage Savage, Dan 29

4 Foreign Relations Suzanne Kamata Kamata, Suzanne 37

5 Counting on Cousins Amy Anderson Anderson, Amy 61

6 The Look Z. Z. Packer Packer, Z. Z. 73

7 Like Family Min Jin Lee Min, Jin Lee 79

8 Daddy Donoring Antonio Caya Caya, Antonio 97

9 Two Red Lines Susan McKinney de Ortega de Ortega, Susan McKinney 108

10 My First Husband Liza Monroy Monroy, Liza 123

11 Home Alone Together Neal Pollack Pollack, Neal 139

12 Love. Money, and the Unmarried Couple Judith Levine Levine, Judith 150

13 Unassisted Sasha Hom Hom, Sasha 165

14 Sharing Madison Dawn Friedman Friedman, Dawn 178

15 Half the Work, All the Fun Marc Vachon Vachon, Marc Amy Vachon Vachon, Amy 190

16 How Homeschooling Made Our Family More of What We Wanted It to Be Paula Penn-Nabrit Penn-Nabrit, Paula 206

17 Till Life Do Us Part Meredith Maran Maran, Meredith 224

18 This Old House Rebecca Barry Barry, Rebecca 239

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